Another good one? I like it when you see a lamp lit through a window.

Is there anything that inexplicably makes you all happy and cozy? Or really depressed?

I once read that Gloria Steinem hated a radio playing in an empty room. Apparently that plummeted her into depression. I hate the sound of sporting events on TV. Ugh. Those whistles, the announcer, the crowd. I am depressed just writing about it.

I am pretty sure this is because when I was a kid, my father spent about 86 hours a weekend watching sports down in the TV room. Oh, he'd get mad. He'd yell and swear like a sailor when his  team lost. He would drink Cokes and eat Brach's chocolate stars. Perhaps his sugar high put him in a snit.

Sometimes I'd go down there with a cup and he'd pour me some of his Coke. Oh, it always tasted better when he was sharing it with me. But I think the whole "dad is swearing downstairs" thing made sports depressing for me.

Also depressing? National Public Radio. Those CALM voices, the utter lack of noise in the background. That cloying All Things Considered theme music. Do do DO do do do DO! ACK! Make it stop.

THAT one is because NPR would always be playing in the living room before dinner, and it meant I had to stop having fun and go eat. I always had to be really well-behaved during dinner. I couldn't curl my legs under me, I had to use my utensils correctly. And as I recall, dinner was always a fancy affair. I may be remembering wrong, but I remember always having cloth napkins, and candles, and bread in a covered basket. I'm not saying that was unpleasant, but I think NPR signaled to me, "It's time to act grown up and hold your fork right." Blech.

Now, something that makes me happy? When I am driving at night, and someone's garage is up, and there is a light on and someone is working in there. Do not ask me why. I have no idea.

I think this must have been something I saw a lot growing up. In Michigan, everyone worked for the auto industry, so every dad would tinker in the garage. So I think it's just familiar.

Another one that makes me happy? In the evening? One small light on in the kitchen. Like, maybe the light over the stove, or just the one over the sink. I can trace that one easily. Very often after dinner we'd go to my grandparents' house. Grammy would have just finished cleaning up the kitchen (which is also why I love the smell of Palmolive dish soap), and she'd turn off the lights except for the one over the sink. Then we'd all sit in the living room and talk.

Sometimes, when I got bored, my grandfather would take me back into the kitchen, just us, and we drink Cokes in there, with just that light on. Cokes figure heavily in my childhood, don't they?

Anyway, I have no idea how I got off on this tangent, except that I saw a light in a garage last night and got to thinking of it.

Tell me your "cozy for no real reason" stories. Or your "that plummets me" tales.

23 thoughts on “Another good one? I like it when you see a lamp lit through a window.

  1. All the girls in my family like it when we see a single plane silently flying in the sky. It makes us feel content.
    I am very content in Charlotte as we live in the flight path.

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  2. Hi June,
    I love this one!
    I have many loves: the groans our new dog lets out when she’s found a comfy spot, walking our dogs in the snow, walking aroudn and helping people dig out after or during a blizzard – everyone is so friendly and there’s such a sense of community. Also love sitting on our boat at nighttime with friends and just talking and laughing in the moonlight.
    I also had a moment when I realized I loved it here more than anywhere else. I was cross-country skiing through our city’s huge central park (called Salem Common – it’s where George Washington used to exercise the troops!) and there was a man playing with his golden retriever in the middle of the park. It was late afternoon and the white sparkle lights were all lit in the trees that circle the edge of the Common…It was my singular “New England” moment! The BEST!

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  3. mine is random but it’s the first one that popped into my head.
    those heat register grates on the floor? i like those. 🙂 because when i was little and i’d get cold, i would get my blanket and lay on the floor with it over the register, and filter all the cozy to me 😛
    and i can’t really think of anything that makes me unhappy. maybe Honda Civics in traffic? because in my experience they are generally driven by jerky punk kids. haha.

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  4. I love…. Gardenias from my grandmother’s H.U.G.E. gardenia plant and Saturday night memories of He-haw and being forced to watch Lawrence Welk. …the sound of the ocean and growing up around a shrimp boat and fishermen (with my father always there). …doing little workbook pages in bed with my mom when she got home from work. …the car that would seemingly “take over” and not allow dad to drive as *it* headed for the little shop for a candy bar (my dad just couldn’t stop that thing when it wanted me to have a candy bar… funny thing is, I have tried this with my kids and all it did was end up scaring them… oops).

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  5. I love this thread!
    Loves: The sound of leaves crackling underfoot in fall (after the first frost my allergies would let up and I could enjoy the outdoors for a while), the smell of sawdust (my dad used to build lots of stuff for our home), the smell of gas & oil mixed (for a 2-stroke engine – that one’s thanks to my dad cuz it meant we were going out on the boat), the sound of trucks in the distance on the highway at night (as a child it meant we were in some motel driving to my grandparent’s house), the sound of heat bugs in summer (they remind me of lazy summer days sitting on the stoop with my best friend), homemade kool-aid popsicles (ditto), the Hockey Night In Canada theme music (hey, I’m Canadian, it is genetically encoded as a happy sound.)
    I’m sure there are hates, but I’m too happy at the moment to think of any.

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  6. Sports on television is the WORST sound ever. I hate it. Especially baseball. I think it’s because of Dad issues for me too, but I haven’t probed that deeply yet.
    I love the sound of birds chirping after rain stops, and the smell that comes after the rain too – wet wood and leaves (but not the worms).

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  7. Here’s one I don’t smell very often, since many people don’t iron any more, but I love the smell of that Magic Sizing spray that clothes get ironed with. It takes me back to sunny days as a little girl before life got complicated.
    The smell a load of clothes drying with dryer sheets makes me happy, especially if I’m not expecting it, like if I’m walking up to knock on a friend’s door and she’s got laundry going.
    Also, I’m right with everyone else on seeing lights on in houses at night and catching a glimpse of anonymous homey-ness.

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  8. Commercials that are louder than the actual programming really get to me. There’s a whole process in place within the industry to avoid that but a select few either screw it up or just don’t do it.
    I have two smells that make me very calm and content. The first is burning wood, like a campfire. We had a woodstove in the basement and whenever we’d come inside after playing in the snow my dad would pop another log in while we hung up our gloves, hats, and scarves. It always made the basement smell like a campfire. The second is manure. Ha. I grew up around farms and that was just apart of life. I’ve moved to an area where you don’t smell that and I don’t realize it until I’m driving home and smell it again. I always laugh at myself when I find myself enjoying such a putrid smell!

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  9. My weird plummetting thing is Christmas music when it isn’t Christmastime. I don’t know why, but it just makes me feel sad.
    Actually, sports on TV in the background gives me a cozy feeling. My Dad watched sports on the weekends too, only he didn’t cuss. He just sat on the couch watching it with his feet up, a newspaper open, and always available for my sister & I to style his hair with barrettes & the like. Or I’d try to change the channel once he was asleep and he’d say, “I’m not asleep; I’m just resting my eyes.” My husband & I really aren’t even sports fans but I’ll often play a game in the background on a weekend.

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  10. I think mine might be the most bizarre of all. I come from a family of 4 girls, and my dad owns a welding shop. I spent lots of time with Dad at construction sites, so that smell really hits a cord. Something about the mix of sawdust, dirt, welding smoke, exhaust, and fresh concrete is my “cozy.”

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  11. I like when it’s warm out, and the house windows are open, and there’s a nice strong and variable breeze so you can hear the trees rustling (I grew up in the country with a gigantic willow tree outside of my bedroom window). And being in the car and waiting for someone/something while it’s raining (the car is off and I can just listen). Driving at night in a car with lots of dash lights (little LEDs on everything). I too have the glowy light from the house attraction; we always leave the light on over the kitchen sink and the stove. I love the exterior night shots of Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter movies.

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  12. I love when I can drive by a house at night with their curtains open and a light shinging and I can see people inside doing family stuff. It’s cozy.
    I feel the same way about working in garages at night-but then I’m also from MI.

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  13. This sounds nuts, but in keeping with the theme of liking a light on, I was once in a bathroom that had a sweet little lamp on the back of the toilet. Months later, I found the perfect lamp for my bathroom and voila! It transformed my bathroom. Makes me happy just walking in there, seeing the warm glow from the lamp shining on an old framed picture sitting next to it. In the dark and cold climate I live in, it’s a simple comfort.

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  14. Oh my goodness. I love one single light on in the living room. That warm glow warms my heart. I especially love sitting outside in the dark in the summer. We (my parents and grandparents) used to spend a lot of time on the screened front porch at my Grandmother’s house during the summer. Just sitting out there talking, listening to the bugs, I would always fall asleep on the glider. My Pop would be in the swing, my Dad would be in the rocker, my Grandmother would be on the glider and my Mom would be in the chair beside the glider. Those were wonderful times. You understand this was right at the edge of the Georgia Tech campus. My Grandmother’s house is gone, but the Tech dorm that occupies that spot has her house number 555. Then the food is eating my Grandmother’s tea cakes with Coke.

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  15. Boy howdy, have YOU touched a nerve!
    I,too, have wonderful memories of that kitchen light at Grandma & Gramps house – either over the sink, or the stove light. I always have the stove light on at my house and usually the sink light as well.
    Another thing that always gives me ‘that feeling’, is driving at night and seeing houses with their curtains open and living room light on. I look in and see the picture or mirror on the wall, the grandfather clock, maybe someone sitting on the couch, the glow of a television. It just touches me.
    Another one is hearing Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas”. In the late 60’s or early 70’s I came upon my Grandma crying and “White Christmas” on the radio. When I asked her why she was crying, she said the song came out during WWII; her brother Arthur was somewhere in the Pacific, and they didn’t know if he was safe or not. Grandma has been gone 15 years, but now I’m the one who tears up when I hear it.

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  16. I love to see a lamp on in the living room or entryway, whether I’m just coming home or have been home all day. The glow of it just makes me feel warm inside.

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  17. The sound of the ball making contact with the bat on Feb. 27th, (first baseball practice) sounds like Spring. Makes me want to do a cartwheel or a herkie.

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  18. Once upon a time when I was at an art gallery, I saw a series of pictures, in one display, of several dozen big, black rubber boots, all paired up, and “marching” down the street, down the sidewalk, up some stairs, etc.
    And then one day I found a picture online of a pair of bright red stilettos “walking” down a railroad track. Pictures like these make me happy, and I don’t know why. There is something about a pair of shoes seemingly going somewhere all by itself…
    What also makes me happy: standing outside at night after a snowfall. The world is so quiet, and that soft orange glow from street lights…it’s pure magic.

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  19. saturday college football was either good or bad..depending on how we were doing. in the 60’s, you got one little grainy channel and there was no rewind or film, it was what it was. Dad, bless his Baptist Deacon heart, would either cuss or yell with joy. I miss him so much.
    amazing what can evoke the memories. excellent post; thank you.
    Debbie in Charlotte

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  20. I love to see the muted orange glow coming from windows when I am out walking my dog at night. There’s just something about that glow that says “home” to me. And then when my own apartment is in view and I look up to see that glow coming from my own apartment…happiness.

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  21. Oh, my gosh. It’s sports noise for me too. I have six older brothers that all played sports. Mostly basketball. Not only did I sit through games on the weekend but after school too. The smell, the lights, the noise. And then at home later the loud arguments and discussions about the stupid coaches or the referees or the other players. Blech.
    I need me some cheese to go with my whine.

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